Signs of the need for dual diagnosis
When someone is living with both a diagnosed mental health disorder and an ongoing problem with substance abuse, they have what is called a dual diagnosis. Because both disorders require medical and psychotherapeutic intervention in order for the patient to manage the symptoms of both problems, it is recommended that they undergo dual diagnosis treatment rather than attempt to treat the disorders separately. The relationship between the brain and substance abuse requires professional, evidence-based intervention, especially in these cases.
Dual diagnosis treatment offers a well-rounded program of services to the patient that are chosen based on his or her specific needs in recovery. But how do you know if you are one of those people? We review what dual diagnosis means in terms of basic diagnostic signs, and what you can do about it here. Then, we invite your questions or comments about dual diagnosis treatment at the end.
3 signs you need dual diagnosis treatment
1. You are diagnosed with a mental health disorder and substance abuse issues.
If you are diagnosed with a mental health disorder (anything from a mood disorder to a personality disorder) and you also drink or use drugs regularly, then dual diagnosis treatment is appropriate for you. It doesn’t matter if you are currently receiving treatment for the mental health issue, or if you believe that the mental health issue is the “real” problem and that substance use is just a crutch. The two issues are most likely entwined, so getting help for both problems will help you to better manage your mental health symptoms.
2. You are living with extreme mood swings, suicidal thoughts, and/or hear voices whether or not you’re high.
Even if you do not have a current or recent diagnosis for a mental health disorder, if you have ever experienced depression, anxiety, hallucinations, or other mental health symptoms and you also drink or use drugs, then dual diagnosis treatment may be the right choice. In some cases, these symptoms will ease when you address the substance abuse disorder, but only if they are triggered by drug use. For most people, the symptoms may have existed before drugs and alcohol became a problem, but they can be significantly worsened by substance abuse. Treatment for both issues will decrease cravings for substances and also help to more healthfully manage underlying mental health symptoms.
3. Standard drug rehab didn’t work for you.
If you previously entered drug rehab, began a life in recovery, only to return home and find that you were unable to maintain sobriety for long without a relapse, you may be dealing with some mental health issues that are blocking you. Trauma can contribute to a number of mental health symptoms while also increasing cravings for drugs and alcohol.
Sometimes what patients view as “normal” moods or personality characteristics are essentially untreated mental health symptoms. When you undergo treatment that addresses all the issues that are stopping you from living a life of sobriety at a dual diagnosis treatment program, you learn how to manage mood, cravings, and other psychological issues that may be making your journey more difficult.
What can you do about dual diagnosis?
Contact us today to learn more about dual diagnosis treatment and find out how to connect with the recovery program that will help you to manage mental health issues and potential addiction relapse. Trauma / abuse counseling for addictions may be required, as can more extensive psychiatric or psychological care. If you have a question, please leave it below. We do our best to respond to legitimate queries with a personal and prompt reply.